THE Skype is the limit for a computer-savvy centenarian after a bubbly birthday bash.
Ellen Napier proved age is no barrier as she embraced new technology to turn 103 with glee on Sunday.
The sprightly great-grandmother, a resident at Bishop Ramsey Court sheltered accomodation in South Shields, spent her milestone day with daughter Roberta and son-in-law Tony at the Blue Rooms Motel, off Western Approach, before catching up with other family members from Hertfordshire via internet video calling system Skype.
Champagne was flowing courtesy of generous Blue Rooms staff, with conversation just as sparkling as Ellen went interface-to-face on the world wide web.
Tony, 74, said: “What surprised me is she didn’t question where these faces were coming from.
“She took to it like a duck to water. It can take a bit of getting used to, but she was fine.”
The video talk capped off a fantastic day for Ellen, who is already looking forward to reaching a milestone 105th birthday in two years.
After receiving her first telegram from The Queen for reaching three figures, she is anxiously awaiting another royal seal of approval, awarded for reaching 105.
Tony added: “It was just a nice, quiet day with Ellen and my wife. The Blue Rooms very kindly supplied us with champagne.
“Ellen wants another telegram from The Queen, and I’m sure she will get it.
Ellen, who has four great-grandchildren, two grandchildren and one daughter, was born in Newcastle before moving to America in the late 1920s to embark upon a career in hairdressing.
She continued to prove a cut above the rest when she moved back across the pond, working at Selfridges in London and Bainbridges in Newcastle, before retiring to South Shields.